R-E-S-P-E-C-T: 25 Ways To Show It

© 2005 Laurie Weiss, Ph.D.

Convicted criminals report that their violent behavior was caused by perceived disrespect.1

Everyone wants to be treated with respect, but respect means different things to different people. It also means different things in different cultures, so treating others with respect often becomes a serious problem. If you want to avoid offending someone by being disrespectful, you must think about both what they need and how you act.

Respect sometimes means:

  1. Look at me ó make eye contact!
  2. Donít look at me.
  3. Listen attentively when I speak
  4. Respond to what I mean instead of to what I say. That often means respond to my
    emotions as well as to my words.
  5. Ignore my emotions when I am supposed to appear strong.
  6. Keep the agreements you make with me. 
  7. Keep time agreements with me. Donít keep me waiting.
  8. Notice what seems to be important to me and comment on it. 
  9. Remember what I like and dislike.
  10. Donít force me to encounter things I hate.
  11. Allow me my privacy.
  12. Donít ignore me.
  13. Acknowledge everything I do well.
  14. Donít demean me by commenting on my expected work.
  15. Offer to shake hands.
  16. Never disagree with me.
  17. Challenge my thinking.
  18. Donít interrupt me.
  19. Interrupt me, it means you are listening and you care (New York).
  20. Protect me.
  21. Challenge me ó give me tough things to do.
  22. Always speak in a calm way.
  23. Match the energy of my excitement.
  24. Always use my title.
  25. Use my first name.

Yes it is contradictory! How can you sort it out? First and foremost, recognize that people are different from you and from each other. 

Be mindful of the Golden Rule, ďDo unto others as you would have them do unto you.Ē 

Be even more mindful of the Platinum Rule, ďDo unto others as they would have you do unto them.Ē 

Pay attention to how others respond to you and, when possible, when you can do so without violating your own principles, treat them as they expect and wish to be treated.

1Gilligan MD, James. Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic


Laurie Weiss, Ph.D., author of Dare To Say It!, is an internationally known executive coach, psychotherapist, and author. For more simple secrets for turning difficult conversations into amazing opportunities for cooperation and success, visit http://www.DareToSayIt.com

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